A New York-based company has set up a crowdfunding project to launch a line of anti-rape underwear.
AR Wear has developed pants that are reinforced with a mesh structure and lockable belts at the waist and legs that make it more difficult for an attacker to remove the underwear.
The short-style briefs have been fitted with bands that cannot be cut by scissors, and, once secured in place with a locking system, hold the garment tightly in place so that it cannot be pulled down or to the side.
AR Wear has created a promotional video to market its products that shows exactly how the products fend off attackers.
AR Wear has set itself a fundraising target of US$50,000 (£31,000) and has already received more than US$36,000 (£22,350) through site Indiegogo. As with all crowdfunding initiatives, if the money raised does not hit the top target then AR Wear will receive nothing.
The campaign launched last month and has just 17 days left to raise the remaining cash. To incentivise pledges, AR Wear is offering discounts on its products.
In a statement on the Indiegogo site, AR Wear said: “We believe that the tools of self-defense currently available are not effective in many common settings of sexual assault. Training in martial arts or products such as pepper spray, tear gas, stun guns, etc, can only help if the potential victim is extremely alert and bold when an attack occurs. Worse still, products of self-defense can be taken from the victim and used against her.
“We read studies reviewing the statistics of resisting assault, whether by forceful or non-forceful means. We learned that resistance increases the chance of avoiding a completed rape without making the victim more likely to be physically injured. We concluded that an item of clothing that creates an effective barrier layer can allow women and girls to passively resist an attacker, in addition to any other form of resistance they may be able to carry out at the time of an assault.”
The company added that it has plans to extend the collection beyond underwear. It has already created running shorts and is now looking into developing clothes for travelling, such as shorts.